Culinary Use of Licorice

culinary use of licorice is considerable. Licorice is a natural sweetener and flavoring. It is used in confectionery, dried foods, beverages and many others.

Culinary Use of Licorice


Licorice is a perennial herb which has been consumed in cooking and traditional medicine for a long time. Licorice is considered a natural sweetener and flavoring. Moreover, it has many benefits for our health and body. It is an effective remedy for digestive disorders, peptic ulcers, skin diseases, sore throat, respiratory problems and many others.

Licorice is a wild herb growing in North Africa, Western Asia and Southern Europe. Culinary use of licorice has a long history. It has also been a popular herbal remedy in traditional medicine.

Licorice products are presented in a vast variety such as licorice extract powder, licorice root powder, licorice extract blocks, licorice extract paste, licorice extract granules, licorice extract nuggets, licorice DGL.

Sepidan Osareh Jonoob Co. is one of the prominent producers and exporters of licorice products in the world. This company is globally known as one of the best ones in the licorice market. A number of factors lead to this company’s achievements including very high-quality products, employing experienced staff, using modern machinery and instruments in production lines and laboratory, observing global standards in quality and management and many more.

In this article we are going to consider culinary use of licorice.

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Using Licorice in Cooking

The use of licorice in cooking, food and drinks dates back to ancient times. Licorice has been used as an ingredient in cooking, while creating a pleasant herbal taste and aroma which is similar to fennel and anise to some extent. Culinary use of licorice, as mentioned earlier, goes back to a long time ago. In Asian, Chinese, Egyptian culture it was widely believed to have positive medical features. It is still popular in the Middle Eastern culture.

For using licorice in cooking, you can buy its woody root or its powder. For sweet recipe and confectionery use, its processed form like its extract block or paste is also available.

since the Middle Ages licorice was consumed to add flavor and color to food. In China, licorice as a seasoning is added to flavor some food like soup. Based on the surveys done by Sepidan Osareh Jonoob Co., licorice is also used as a flavoring for a variety of sauces, including soy sauce and pickles. Licorice root is used to flavor dry food such as sugar, coffee, salt and some other ones. This plant is found in the combination of spices, especially for meat dishes, and goes well with the taste of food. It is used to flavor duck, lamb, pork, etc. Sometimes licorice is mixed with a little salt and added to meat as a condiment. For example, in Sweden, this method is very common for venison. Licorice can be combined with other flavors such as mint, ginger, etc. Licorice as a condiment is used whether in powder or root form.

You can use licorice directly to your food recipe. In this way, put licorice root in hot water to create stronger taste. It can be added to custards, sauces, herbal teas, syrups to make a distinctive flavor.

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Licorice in Recipes

Licorice powder or licorice compounds are also directly used in recipes. Based on experiences of chefs, licorice flavor goes well with savoury dishes. It makes pork, duck, pigeon, quail more delicious. You can marinate different kinds of meat, prawns, oysters and other ones with licorice, or use it as dressing for raw or cooked food and vegetables.

Top British chefs suggest that using licorice in savoury food tastes great; they recommend these recipes: licorice with quail and soya sauce, salmon with black garlic and licorice. They also recommend to try black licorice ice cream, black licorice caramels.

In England, licorice has been frequently used as a flavoring in gingerbread and stout (strong dark beer).

Licorice is used in dough for cakes, pasta, biscuits, bread etc.

 In risotto, an Italian food, licorice powder is added for a stronger flavor.

Licorice flavor adapts really well to other tastes like ginger, mint, fennel and others.

In addition to savoury dishes, licorice is compatible with sweet dishes, too. Licorice taste can change according to the variety and the way of using. Licorice in ice cream can be used as a syrup to make its taste distinctive. It should be noted that licorice sweetness is almost 50 times more than sugar. Licorice ice cream is a special flavor of this dessert that has its own fans. It is used in sweets, candies, chocolates, pastilles, chewing gum and many others. licorice can be mixed with various flavors including strawberries, cherries, raspberries and other flavors in those products.

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Licorice in Drinks

For making licorice tea, we can use licorice powder or ground licorice root. Licorice is also available in tea bags. Licorice dried leaves can be used for tea. This herbal tea is very useful for our body and health. It can relieve sore throat and cough, digestive problems, headache and stress. It can control stomach acid and reflux; it treats fatty liver and strengthens the immune system; it helps to lose weight. Licorice tea can be combined with other herbal teas such as chamomile or mint to add variety to the taste and to increase its effectiveness.

Licorice is also used in alcoholic beverages especially strong ones. It gives them strong and special taste.

There is a kind of drink called “erk-soos” in Egypt, that is famous for relieving stomachache and quenching thirst. It is recommended to be used in Ramadan. To prepare this drink, you can boil licorice in water about 5 minutes. For stronger taste, put licorice root in water overnight and then boil it for 5 minutes. You can add some sugar if you want to.


It Is Recommended by Chefs

Other culinary uses of licorice, according to some chefs, are as follows:

  • Put licorice root in hot liquid and serve it with honey.
  • Use grated licorice root on oatmeal dishes.
  • Try grated licorice root with sweet potato.
  • Consume cheese with licorice flavor.
  • Throw a piece of licorice stick while cooking pot roast.

Generally, licorice is considered as a safe food ingredient. However, be careful about excessive licorice consumption. It could be dangerous for high blood pressure, pregnancy and breastfeeding, people with heart or kidney diseases.


Written by: Sepidan Osareh Jonoob Co.

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